Following the release of the 2022 Know More @ MSU Campus Survey, Michigan State University announced the extension of relationship violence, sexual misconduct and mental health services for students, staff and faculty who identify as transgender and nonbinary.
Starting this semester, the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, or GSCC, will partner with campus services to embed RVSM advocates and counselors within its programming. Specifically, these resources will come from MSU Safe Place; Center for Survivors; Counseling and Psychiatric Services or CAPS, which offers counseling services to students; and Employee Assistance Program or EAP, which offers counseling services for staff and faculty.
“We are aware that transgender and nonbinary students often experience abuse and trauma at higher rates than other students and may not know about or feel trusting of programs offering support services based on national data and the recent Know More Survey results,” said Heather Shea, interim director of the GSCC. “Because of that, we have committed to specific outreach and supportive services to create safe spaces for this community.”
The GSCC is a student-centered campus resource that works to celebrate, affirm and empower LGBTQIA+ members of the MSU community. Through education, engagement, advocacy and student support, the GSCC works to create an inclusive campus culture for people of all genders and sexual identities.
“We are committed to developing additional outreach and programming to continue to support transgender and non-binary students, community members and employees,” said Tana Fedewa, director of MSU’s Center for Survivors.
Expanded services include:
- MSU Safe Place, which provides advocacy, counseling and shelter to MSU students, staff, faculty, their partners and minor-aged children who are experiencing relationship violence or stalking, will now host weekly in-person services at the GSCC. Effective Jan. 12, Lara Hayden will be available between 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. to help educate and support any students who may be experiencing relationship violence or stalking. Students can stop by GSCC without an appointment during these open hours or can reach out to Lara at haydenL8@msu.edu to schedule an appointment for support at a more convenient time.
- Center for Survivors provides in-person or virtual support, including advocacy, medical forensic exams, therapy, workshops and group counseling services to all student survivors of sexual misconduct and limited services to nonstudent survivors. The Center for Survivors is collaborating with MSU Safe Place to gather information to create peer-led support groups for GSCC-connected survivors of RVSM. Individuals can receive information and/or support by contacting the Center for Survivors by:
- Email at email@example.com.
- Onsite walk-in visit during business hours, located on the 2nd floor of the Student Services Building.
- Phone at (517) 355-3551 during business hours.
- 24/7 MSU Sexual Assault Hotline at (517) 372-6666.
- Crisis chat at https://centerforsurvivors.msu.edu/ seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- CAPS, which provides counseling services and referrals to MSU students, has a dedicated counselor available weekly at the GSCC for students seeking any type of support. Ginny Blakely will be available at the GSCC for CAPS Connect on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon beginning Jan. 24, 2023. Individuals can sign up for a 20-minute in-person consultation at https://caps.msu.edu/services/CAPSConnect.html.
The RVSM Expert Advisory Workgroup will be using data from the recent Know More Campus Survey to develop additional solutions for LGBTQIA+ campus community members. This will build on the work of the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Strategic Plan, which has been a major driver of RVSM efforts on campus and was tasked with creating a values-driven operational plan with recommended initiatives, timelines and metrics.
The workgroup — cochaired by Rebecca Campbell, professor of psychology and Andrea Munford, deputy chief of the Community Support Bureau at MSU’s Department of Police and Public Safety — was formed in 2018 to make immediate recommendations to transform MSU’s institutional response to RVSM and oversee the implementation of those changes.
“Offering these services is just the first step in our process,” said Campbell. “We know that we must do more to prevent violence against transgender and nonbinary members of our community. We will be continuing to develop strategies for a more long-term plan throughout the semester.”